A Cheap and Cheerful Build - Geoff


It's the 6G74, 3.5 L in a Gen III. Unfortunately it's a bit of a red headed step child because it's not exactly a Gen 2.5, and it doesn't have the upgrades of a Gen III 3.8, but its been working well for me.

I used basically all OEM parts, I just grabbed the engine rebuild kit and it had most of what I needed. Whenever you're uncertain what I used on my build you can find the parts list here.

Full Project Parts/Tutorial List

Engine Refresh Parts List

Yeah.. if I were to do it again, I'd either not pull the heads (they weren't in bad shape at all, it was mostly "well... I'm already in there right?") or take them to a pro shop. I think doing the lifters and valve stem seals (which you can do without pulling the heads and assundries) is where 80-90% of the value is in that job. The amount of extra work to polish the valve seats is a bit ridiculous. I think I spent more time cleaning the heads than on any other portion of that refresh job. If I ever have it torn down again I might go ahead and port and polish them while I was at it.

The Pajero transmission flush is nice, I didn't go quite in depth as that, I grabbed pictures (which I'll post when I get some free time) but I followed this tutorial mostly. Couple of added points - first make absolutely sure the disconnected cooler hose is forced into a catch basin. Otherwise, when you turn on the truck and shift into neutral you will spray ATF everywhere...(I did). Secondly, if your ATF is really bad, use either a clear hose or watch it carefully as you're pumping the old fluid out with the new stuff. Mine was pretty bad and it took probably 2 qts before the ATF turned clear. I may even go back and do it again because as it's getting cold I"m noticing some hard shifts, I'm guessing because mine was so bad it might take two flushes fully clean it out (I think Toasty mentioned doing this before..)


Well, it's been a while since I put together a post detailing progress here so I figured I should give a brief update on Geoff.

There isn't a ton of rhyme or reason to what projects I worked on other than at one point or another they irritated me enough to fix them and I had enough cash around to pay for the parts. Unfortunately, due to lack of funds, all of the fun projects (new roof rack, bumpers, skid plates, etc) haven't been started, but in continuing the theme of getting maintenance done and cheap and cheerful upgrades - here goes.

Oh - and I've got a new parts spreadsheet running for the second round of maintenance - find it here.
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Thing One - Flush that transmission fluid:

I've actually done this twice now, and it has actually improved the shifting each time. Originally, the truck was terrible at shifting, now it's very smooth - I still think this is the best upgrade you can do to one of these trucks, particularly if someone put the wrong fluid in last time. There are tons of good tutorials, the only thing I'd add is to make sure you unhook the right end of the hose. Looking at the picture below, you should unhook the u-shaped hose on the side farthest away from the transmission cooler. That way you can actually aim the departing fluid into the catch basin. Otherwise you stand there holding the hose like a dunce and it sprays out the other end all over the garage floor....



Thing #2 - Swap out your 4-wheel drive activation solenoid (freewheel clutch - MB937731)

This is a pretty easy, and cheap fix (if you buy the cheap amazon one). It's pretty straight forward, swap it out - make sure you don't break the plastic connections or put holes in the hoses - that's really it. I initially tried to fix the old one, it's not worth it, for $20 you can just buy a new one. It's easy to reach, it's on the passenger side of the engine bay near the airbox. I was hoping this would fix my blinking transmission light (that comes on after 18 miles) but no dice - it did make it easier to switch into 4WD.



Thing #3 - Replace those Tired Shocks!

New springs are on the list, but the shocks were really bad, so bad in fact that my wife was all for fixing them right away. Springs will have to wait until I can afford them... I went with Bilstein 4600s, I think I picked mind up at 4-Wheel Parts, but these days I'd go grab them from Adventure Driven Designs. Pretty easy swap on the rears, jack it up, pull the tire, unbolt the old one and bolt the new one into place. In my case the only tricky part was cleaning out the old degraded rubber.

The Old ones:

Old Nasty Rubber Stuff

It's been a while but I seem to remember requiring a hammer to get this crap out:

Allen key and a wrench to connect it back together

Done and done - note the extra jack to adjust the height of the hub to line up the bolt holes


Thing #4 - Replace the Transmission Bushings

Back when I first got the rig it had this funny vibration at certain speeds, one potential cause was degraded rubber transmission cross member bushing mounts (upper: MD362861 , Lower: MD151401), they were cheap, and easy, so I bought them. I delayed installing them due to the arrival of our second munchkin, but I did get new tires - which actually solved the problem. So, several months later I threw them in because why not. The install process is really easy, you work your way around the transmission cross member and replace them one bolt at a time. Loosen everything up first, but leave the bolts in place and you don't need a lift or anything.

Overview of the crossmember:

Old bushings on the left, new bushings on the right, they were tired, but probably still fine:


Thing #5 - Fuel filter and Strainer

This was a general maintenance detail. I had no idea when the last time the filter had been changed, so I figured why not - it was a cheap part. Are you getting the theme yet? This is a straight forward job, but access is a bear. You can find the fuel pump below the 2nd row of seats hidden behind a little access panel - see below:


Here's a better shot of the actual pump:

I have pretty small hands, and I think it still took me 2 hours of swearing to get all of connections unhooked, extract the actual pump and replace the filters. Its a colossal pain, and in my case totally unecessary. The fuel tank looked sparkly clean and so did the old filters... I didn't get any more pictures because my hands were covered with gas....


Thing #6 - Add a hitch

I added a Curt trailer hitch, it's a straight up bolt job so we'll skip all of the pictures showing bolts... Like everyone else I agree it hangs way too low. When I get a welder (or find a friend with one) I'll flip the orientation of the receiver and then we should be in good shape.


Oh, and for reference - I ended up towing a small skid loader with the hitch and it did great, my springs looked horrendous, but the hitch did great.



Thing #7 - Change your differential and transfer case fluid

This really is as easy as you imagine - just look at how exposed those drain and fill bolts are. I picked up a little fluid pump to fill them and it was a quick (~30 minute) job to do all of them. I ended up using Redline MT-90 for the transfer case and 75W90 for the differentials. You need the GL-5 oil for the LSD differentials, but I didn't realize the 75W90 would have also worked fine for the transfer case as it's duel rated (GL-4 and GL-5).



Transfer Case:

I've since discovered a slight leak in my front axle seal, so I just top off the front differential each time I change the oil. I'll replace the seal when I finally get new springs since I'll have to be working in there anyways...


Thing #8 - Do some sound dampening

I've needed to fix the door holder opener thingies (I'm tracking down the part numbers) so I figured why not improve the noise level inside the right while I'm at it. Gen III's have a tendency to be noisy and so any improvement is welcome. I had some foam core insulation laying around from a house project (This stuff) so I added some butyl deadening matting (this stuff from Noico) and went to town.

Starting Point:

Pop out some trim (Carefully!) and the window actuators, to reveal the door harware:

Get rid of that nasty plastic - and those speakers look awfully tired....


Clean up that nasty black crap the best you can, I used a plastic scraper and some acetone.. it kind of worked

Throw on some butyl rubber dampening pads. You don't need full coverage, just 50% or so, but it does need to be well applied, so make sure and use a roller to get it well adhered, try to make sure you cover both halves of the door shell.

Cover it all up with the foil backed foam insulation and I taped in place with high temperature HVAC foil tape

Add your fancy new stereo (I grabbed a set of 4 pioneer TSA1676R 6.5" 3 Way speakers) I seem to recall needing to do a bit of creative mounting, but nothing too crazy. Reassemble and you're good to go.

I got all four doors done this way and eventually I"ll do the roof, rear floor, and rear door, but I just haven't gotten around to it yet. Even just doing the doors it's noticeably quieter in the cab, I'm hopeful that doing the rest will help even more.


Geoff is up for sale - currently the only location is on the Montero Garage Sale page on Facebook, if it doesn't go there I'll open it up to craigslist. I figure folks that appreciate monty's should get first dibs.


Don't piss down my back and tell me it's raining.
My kid is in the market for a rig...
I'm not on facebook...what is the asking price?
I have family in Gunnison...are you near there perhaps?
Please message me.


As @Inyo_man noted, some folks aren't on Facebook, so here's the post, and I'll get the pictures uploaded here as well:

2001 Gen III, $4500 in Littleton, CO
The time has come to part with my 2001 Gen III. I picked up “Geoff” four years ago with the intention to build up a well-appointed machine and I detailed most of the process over on the Overland Portal under the thread: “A Cheap and Cheerful Build

If you’ve seen the excel sheets and word documents detailing the timing belt and seal refresh for the 3.5L engine, they probably originated with this build as I documented the entire process. Unfortunately, with the arrival of my third kiddo and some work changes Geoff has been relegated to daily driver duty for the last few years and I spend way more time driving to Home Depot than hitting the trails. So it’s time to switch out to a full-size truck and send Geoff off to a new owner that can enjoy the trails more than I can.
Most everything is documented on the build thread, but here’s an overview:
Mechanically it’s in great shape, there are a few minor issues here and there (detailed below) but by and large it’s been extremely reliable and bordering on boring.
Updates and Good Stuff:
  • Tires – Toyo Open Country AT/II, LT265/75R16 (pretty decent tread left)
  • Full Timing belt, seals, hose job done ~20k miles ago
  • New OME Springs
  • Bilstein 4600 Shocks
  • Additional Sound dampening in doors, floors, and walls (no roof)
  • Siberian Bushing Front Suspension (new ball joints too)
  • Full set of Boo’s Bashplates
  • New brake rotors/pads
  • New ABS accumulator and Motor
  • New Oxygen Sensors
  • New Transmission Mount Bushings
  • New Freewheel solenoid
  • New Receiver hitch
  • New Pioneer Head unit
  • New Backup camera
  • New Fuel Filter and Fuel Strainer
  • New front abs sensors
  • Other miscellaneous fixes and crap I’ve forgotten…
The stuff that I’d work on if I kept Geoff.
  • The paint is crap. Because Geoff was designed as a work truck I always intended to monstaliner it or something, but never got around to it.
  • The Drivers seat has the normal splits Gen III’s get. I’d add one of those seat covers that has been floating around the facebook group.
  • Gas gauge is intermittent, I did the temp gauge solder trick years ago, the fuel gauge started acting up and I haven’t gotten to soldering it yet.
  • Anti-Lock light comes on intermittently. I replaced the ABS motor/accumulator and Front sensors, but no joy in making it go away permanently yet.
  • Speed Sensor light – Geoff has the speed sensor flashy light after 20 miles or so. I’ve cleaned all of the plugs but haven’t attempted to swap sensors yet.
  • Siberian Bushings for rear suspension – I have them but haven’t installed them yet, I got Pneumonia/Covid doing the fronts… You can even have the 20 ton press I bought to install them.
  • Small oil weep on the front passenger axle - I replaced the axle seal which slowed it down, but I think it needs the diff seal and the axle seal.

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